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OSU study focused on carbon farming

Taking excess carbon out of the atmosphere, where it is driving climate change, and locking it into the soil, where it improves its health and agronomic productivity, is the impetus behind a new five-year, $15 million project at The Ohio State University. 

Funding for the project comes from a $5 million grant from the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and about $10 million in matching contributions from Ohio State, commodity groups, industry and other donors. The project will measure how much organic and inorganic carbon gets sequestered in the soil under different farming practices in key regions across the western hemisphere.

What science knows about carbon sequestration, says Rattan Lal, Ohio State Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, has mostly come from simulation modeling carried out on computers, along with a limited number of experiments in the field.

Lal, who is a faculty member in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), will help to change that.… Continue reading

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A look at the stocks to use ratio

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

The recent Pro Farmer Tour estimated a national yield of 168.1. If this happens prices will skyrocket much higher, because the lower yields would decrease carryout, and demand would have to be rationed.

However, in 8 of the last 10 years, the Pro Farmer’s corn yield estimate was between 2 and 6 bushels below the final USDA yield estimate posted in January. The market seems to be disregarding the Pro Farmer estimate though, and instead, is trading something closer to the August USDA production estimate. Weather data throughout the corn belt, along with satellite imagery, is indicating that yields are likely still in the mid 170s. 

Comparing the stocks to use ratio between crop years is a common measure for determining how tight carryout is compared to other crop years. It essentially accounts for yield and demand inflation over time. It is calculated by taking final carryout divided by total usage. … Continue reading

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Lessons learned through the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network (Part 2)

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

Since 2011, the algal bloom on Lake Erie has garnered much attention. The general public that uses the lake for recreational purposes, and the tourism industry and the media are quick to point the finger at agriculture as the primary contributor to the problem. The Western Lake Erie Basin is fed by rivers that drain nearly 7 million acres of farmland. The Maumee River Watershed (which contains the Blanchard River) flows into the Western Basin of Lake Erie. Phosphorus and Nitrogen in the river water are considered a contributor to the growth of the algal bloom each year.

“The harmful algal bloom (HAB) on Lake Erie has been a problem because the lake serves as the primary drinking water source for the City of Toledo. The HAB can produce toxins that can cause liver damage if the concentration is high enough,” said Greg LaBarge, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems.… Continue reading

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Shelby County Women in Ag event

The Shelby County Growing Women in Agriculture committee is back again with the Empowerment Celebration in 2022. The committee’s goal is to grow women involved in the agriculture community in our area. Since 2007 the number of women in agriculture has increased by 7% in the United States. With this evolving statistic in the industry, many new avenues for our community and state have developed in order to take advantage of these rising agriculture leaders.

As a part of their efforts to grow the agriculture community in Shelby County would like to support local women in agriculture by holding our seventh annual “Growing Women in Agriculture, an Empowerment Celebration” event on Sept. 15, 2022, from 6 to 9 p.m., with a special early make and take session that starts at 4:30 p.m. The event will be held at St. Michael’s Hall, 33 Elm Street, in Fort Loramie, and will include an evening of a blend of educational and fun agriculture information, specifically targeted to the women in our community.… Continue reading

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Margin protection and wheat crop insurance and deadlines coming soon

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds corn and soybean growers that the final date to apply for the Margin Protection insurance plan for the 2023 crop year is September 30. This policy is available in select counties in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Federal crop insurance is critical to the farm safety net. It helps producers and owners manage revenue risks and strengthens the rural economy.

Margin Protection is an area-based insurance plan that provides coverage against an unexpected decrease in operating margin (revenue less input costs), caused by reduced county yields, reduced commodity prices, increased prices of certain inputs, or any combination of these perils. Because Margin Protection is area-based (average fora county), an individual farm may have a decrease in its margin but not receive an indemnity or vice-versa.

Margin Protection along with a Yield Protection policy or a Revenue Protection policy (denoted as a base policy) on the same acreage.

To learn more about Margin Protection, please contact a crop insurance agent. There is also a national fact sheet on Margin Protection as well as Frequently Asked Questions on the RMA Website.

In addition, the final date to apply for wheat crop insurance coverage or for current policyholders to make changes to their existing policy for the 2023 crop year is the sales closing date of Sept. 30.

Federal crop insurance is critical to the farm safety net.… Continue reading

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FABE Capstone Team places first in 2022 AGCO National Student Design Competition

A team of The Ohio State University seniors majoring in food, agricultural and biological engineering (FABE) took home the gold in a national competition focused on the design of engineering projects advancing agriculture. The 2022 AGCO National Student Design Competition was a part of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) 2022 Annual International Meeting. Seven teams from five universities competed in the first phase of the competition, where only the top three were invited to the ASABE conference to deliver oral presentations about their design in the final phase. 

Ohio State team members Katelyn Sang and Lindsey Shimoda represented their team which also included FABE students Emma Rand and Donny Smith. Their project was titled “Transpiration control for sustainable deep space food production.” The team was advised by Peter Ling and Jane Fife from the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Ohio State in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). … Continue reading

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Soybean oil use now and in the future

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff

From the national kick-off on his farm in Hancock County back in 2011, to the nationwide use of hi-oleic soybean oil today, John Motter has been a fan of the product he produces. John Motter is a soybean grower and member of the Ohio Soybean Council and United Soybean Board.  He not only grows soybeans in the fertile soils of southern Hancock County, but he also promotes their use internationally.

John Motter, Hancock County Soybean Farmer

Motter is a third-generation farmer, on a farm started by his grandmother.  In 1942, during World War II, Motter’s grandmother moved from where the family was living outside of Bluffton to a farm outside of Jenera. She moved along with his uncle while his father was away in the service.  When his father came back from the war Motter’s uncle rented another farm and his father farmed his grandmothers farm along with working as a carpenter. … Continue reading

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The road is all…

By Leisa Boley Hellwarth

Willa Cather said, “When people ask me if it has been a hard or easy road, I always answer with the same quotation, the end is nothing, the road is all.”    

            Shirley Boley lived on the same road her entire 87 years, in the same farmhouse. Rural Route 2 Box 38 became 3815 Kuhn Road, but the road remained the same. Seasons came and went, and agriculture became more and more mechanized, and the farm prospered on Kuhn Road.

            My grandmother, Shirley’s mother, Doris, loved to tell about the wonderful spring of 1935 when Shirley was born. She recalled there were new lambs, new pigs, new calves, new kittens, new bunnies and new chicks on the farm, as well as a new daughter. This was the middle of the Great Depression.

            My mother was a tomboy, likely due to being a younger sister to her brother, Bud.… Continue reading

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Invasive DNA found in Lake Erie

By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio show 

Trace amounts of genetic material from an invasive fish species known for leaping errantly from the water has been detected in Lake Erie. On July 21, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) disclosed that environmental DNA, or eDNA, from silver carp — an invasive fish formerly known as one of four different types of Asian carp — was found in routine sampling around Presque Isle Bay in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The sample was collected in May by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), which notified the state on July 11. The genetic material was found at only one of 100 sample sites around the bay. No live fish were found and the DNA presence doesn’t automatically mean a fish is present. However, the detection triggered an electrofishing search around the bay which did not turn up any silver carp.… Continue reading

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Beneficial soil fungus, Part 2

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services, and Dale Strichler, Green Cover Seeds

Beneficial soil fungus called mycorrhizae fungi (MF) can optimize crop yields. MF use to be abundant be MF must have a live root as a host. Plowing soil, fallow periods, and annual crops caused many beneficial MF to died off. Long fallow periods, 14-16 weeks; greatly reduce (85-98%) MF population levels while shorter fallow periods, 3-6 weeks; reduce MF populations 30-70%. Some hardy MF species survive in tilled crop land but using cover crops with a live root, can gradually increase MF populations over time (maybe 5-10 years). Inoculating a crop with MF spores speeds up the process and crops respond quickly.

A full rate of MF inoculant, depending on formulation, costs about $12-15/acre. This rate is designed to provide 150,000 propagules (spores and root fragments containing MF) or more per acre. MF research on crops is extensive with over 155,000 published research articles at this time with 10X more research articles on the use of corn (maize MF) than corn using anhydrous ammonia!… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau hosts roundtable with Senator Brown on farm bill

Ohio Farm Bureau hosted a roundtable discussion about the 2023 Farm Bill with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. Area Farm Bureau members and stakeholders discussed the development of the next farm bill and what policies should be considered for the farm bill to help farmers across Ohio through the current challenges facing the state’s agriculture sector.

“The farm bill is about the most bipartisan thing we do in Washington because it is really unique in that it represents everybody,” said Senator Brown. “This bill has always been designed to deal with the risks in agriculture and with high capital costs the risks are even greater.”

Issues covered during the roundtable included the importance of crop insurance, dairy and conservation programs, cattle market transparency, specialty crops and urban agriculture.

“With all of the unique challenges facing agriculture today, the next farm bill will be of utmost importance for Ohio farmers,” said Ohio Farm Bureau President Bill Patterson, who hosted the event at his family’s fruit farm in Geauga County.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 267 | Solar Energy & Dad Jokes

On this week’s podcast Matt and Dusty sit down with Dale Arnold of Ohio Farm Bureau to talk about solar energy in Ohio. Matt also catches up with Scott McNamee of the Richwood Independent Fair to talk about their unique non-livestock auction. Also, Matt adds in his share of dad jokes to make it a complete Ohio Ag Net Podcast! All this and more thanks to AgriGold! 

00:00 Intro and OCJ/OAN Staff Update

39:16 Scott McNamee – Richwood Independent Fair

46:28 Closing … Continue reading

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eBarns putting data in livestock producers’ hands

By Garth Ruff, Ohio State University Extension beef cattle specialist

In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act called for establishment of Extension program within land grant universities. The Act spells out that Extension is to disseminate “useful and practical information on subjects related to agriculture” and to disseminate reach being conducted at the experiment stations (OARDC here in Ohio).

Over the year’s this “translation” of research has been done variety of ways including field days, seminars, one-on-one instruction, and via printed or digital newsletters. Traditionally, faculty who had Extension responsibilities on campus led research efforts, wrote academic journal articles, and then it was up to someone to share and interpret data that was meaningful to clientele in the counties across the state. eBarns, much like Ohio State Extension’s eFields publication does just that, putting the data of applied research into the hands of producers who can then interpret the research to make production decisions.… Continue reading

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New Tribute packaging

Tribute Superior Equine Nutrition has a new look. New packaging is currently being introduced, as the supply of previous packaging runs out. The fresh new design features key upgrades to help consumers easily access the expertise available, so they can care for their horses with less worry. 

An image of the product is now included on the front of the bag, in addition to familiar colors consistently used on each package, so that the horse owner can quickly spot their favorite Tribute product. A QR code present on the front of each bag gives instant access to complete product information. The contact information to the Tribute product support team has been added to the back of the bag, to make it easier to get questions answered, or even get a personalized equine feeding plan tailored to their horse’s specific needs. A QR code linking to the new Tribute feeding rate calculator can take the guesswork out of how much to feed.… Continue reading

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Rains continue, oats harvest wraps up

Temperate conditions and isolated showers were observed while many producers spent time in the fields to complete the oat harvest, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 3% very short, 22% short, 69% adequate, and 6% surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending Aug. 28 was 71.2 degrees, 0.2 degrees above normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.52 inches of precipitation, 0.32 inches below average. There were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 28.

Corn and soybean crops matured rapidly during the previous week. Corn dough progress was 85% complete, corn dented progress was 35% complete, and 2% of the crop was mature. Corn harvested for silage was 28% complete. Corn condition was rated 58% good to excellent. Soybeans pod setting progress reached 92% and 2% of soybeans were dropping leaves. Fifty-nine percent of soybean plants were reported as being in good to excellent condition. … Continue reading

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Research could turn too much sunshine and heat into more resilient plants

By Don “Doc” Sander

Our world depends on the sun. But you’ve probably already heard that you can get too much of a good thing. That includes exposure to sunshine. Too much time soaking in the rays can cause adverse effects, even death, in people, animals and plants. We hear time and again that without sunscreen, we can break out in freckles and suffer sunburn, which can raise our risk of skin cancer. 

Mild exposure to the sun, though, can be good. It stimulates our skin to produce Vitamin D, which strengthens our immune system. Excessive exposure, on the other hand, stokes production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as free oxygen radicals. With strong or prolonged sun exposure, ROS are damaging to people, animals and plants. Severe exposure can even be, I repeat, fatal. 

Severe environmental conditions such as drought, excessive heat and bright sunlight can produce damaging levels of ROS in plants as well.… Continue reading

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Preharvest herbicide treatments for weed desiccation

By Mark Loux, Ohio State University Extension herbicide specialist

There are plenty of fields with late season weed problems this year. Weeds that come through the crop canopy late may be small or spindly or sparse enough to be handled easily by a combine. Other fields can benefit from a preharvest herbicide treatment to kill/dissociate weeds, which makes harvesting easier and can reduce weed seed production and foreign matter in harvested grain. Information on preharvest herbicide treatments for field corn and soybeans can be found in the “Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois”, at the end of those crop sections (pages 75 and 146 of the 2022 edition). Products listed for corn include Aim, glyphosate, 2,4-D, and paraquat, and for soybeans include Aim, dicamba, paraquat, glyphosate, and Sharpen. Keep in mind that Aim and Sharpen have relatively narrow spectrums of activity, and will be less effective than the others across a broad range of weed species (i.e.… Continue reading

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USDA specialty crop grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced it has awarded a total of $72.9 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding. The FY 2022 non-competitive awards were made to the departments of agriculture in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt was joined by U.S. Representative Kim Schrier to make the announcement during a visit to Washington state.

The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.

“USDA is excited to fund innovative research and new market opportunities to further support specialty crop producers,” said Under Secretary Moffitt.… Continue reading

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